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Mexican Law/Property Tax bill pertaing to inherited property

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Question
My brother (US citizen living in Mexico City)passed away last July. He had no children and his Mexican wife (of over 30 years)passed away years before he died. Myself and my siblings are his only survivors. Just last Wednesday I was granted Power of Attorney ("Poder General para...Actos de Administracion...actos de Dominion")from the Mexican Consulate here in San Jose, California.

I recently became aware of the latest Property tax bill pertaining to his house in Mexico City--31,771 pesos if paid by Feb 28, 2014. We have yet to complete Mexico's inheritance process, so I'm wondering if we can delay paying this tax bill till we complete the process and my brother's property is sold.

In other words, do I--as representative of his heirs--need to pay that now, or can I wait till the estate is settled to take care of this bill. If we can do delay payment, do I need permission from the taxing agency in Mexico City? Do I need to go in person, or is there a way I can receive a postponement some other way? I live in California, but plan to go to Mexico DF within a month.

Thanks for any advise you can provide.

Saludos,

Richard Olivas

Answer
Dear Richard,

Each jurisdiction has thier own distinct rules on how to handle property tax collection. As a general rule, payment plans and deferments do not exist. On the other hand, one normally has to be various years behind in the tax payments before legal action is taken.

If the taxes are current through 2013, you have nothing to worry about. The Feb 28 date is a date where many jurisdictions offer "early bird" payers a 20% discount on thier tax bill. If you don't make the Feb 28 deadline, you have nothing to worry about. You can pay the bill anytime during 2014 and aside from losing the 20% discount, only nominal late fees are charged.

My advice is to find the money and pay the tax bill. In any case, you will need to pay the bill before the property can be sold.

I am now living in Coyoacan in Mexico City so if there is anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. johnleeward@buholegal.com

Regards

Lic. John Lee Ward

Mexican Law

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John Lee Ward

Expertise

I can respond to any question related to Mexican Law and common business practices in Mexico. I can also compare and contrast between the American and Mexican legal systems.

Experience

Licenciatura en Derecho from the Universidad del Golfo en Cordoba, Veracruz. (Cedula Profesional No. 5713238) Maestria en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon en Veracruz, Veracruz. (Cedula Professional No. 6358321) Currently a Candidate for a Doctorado en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon. 5 years of litigation experience in Mexico.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors in Electronic Engineering, California Polytechnic State Univ. Juris Doctor, Concord University in Los Angeles Licenciatura en Derecho, Universidad del Golfo, Mexico Maestria en Derecho, Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico Doctorado en Derecho (In Progress), Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico

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